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Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Over the weekend of 12th and 13th March I volunteered and checked out the World Science Festival Brisbane held in the cultural precinct at Southbank, Brsbane, Australia. Wow! An awesome experience!

My girl and I headed in to Southbank (the festival’s main location and home to Brisbane’s cultural precinct comprising museums, art galleries, the state library and performing arts centre) on the Saturday. As I was on my shift, my girl checked out Street Science (science shows, displays and demonstrations in the cultural forecourt near the Brisbane River). 

My shift was at QAGoMA (the Queensland Art Gallery-Gallery of Modern Art) as part of the Art Conservation Apprentice Program – a behind the scenes and practical look at preservation and conservation of artworks. Participants put broken ceramics back together and learnt about mourning and preserving photographic works (testing the pH of mounting boards, microscopic examination to find out how the photograph was printed). 

Fresh from my shift I met up with my girl for lunch Greek street food. Then it was on to see Dear Albert, a play written by Alan Alda based on Albert Einstein’s personal letters. He had a tumultuous love life, and was a passionate scientist and comedian. Fascinating! 

Next it was more Street Science – we saw Australian tarantulas and golden orb spiders being gently placed on willing kids’ hands – such fascination and lack of fear! Kids sifting through piles of rock and bones experiencing palaeontology, 3D bioprinting, robotics, reef conservation and the science Olympiads. 

Then to round out the day we saw Loggerhead turtles hatching from their eggs and earlier hatchlings swimming in tanks. Amazing! The hatchlings were to be released off the coast of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast where it was hoped they would catch the current and evade predators. 

On Sunday my shift was in the Whale Mall at the Queensland Museum. It was a kids activity – the Lego Tower Challenge – build a tower strong enough to hold a pile of text books. The kids has so much fun. So lovely to see kids of all ages, genders and background getting stuck into building. Fun but exhausting! After my shift I wandered around Street Science then caught up with my parents for a late lunch. 

What a day! What an experience! Privileged to have been involved. Can’t wait for next year. And no I didn’t get to meet or see Alan Alda. Maybe next year?  

 
    
    

      
    
    
    
    
    
 

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A great quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson courtesy of the Scientista Foundation and I Fucking Love Science that relates to science and controversies in science – Facebook quote

IMG_1452.PNG(Image taken by Sapphicscientist of the post from the Facebook site of the Scientista Foundation who shared I Fucking Love Science’s image of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tweet)

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I am studying a postgraduate degree in communication, majoring in science communication. In one of my courses, Controversial Science, we are learning all about controversies in science and the role of communication in these controversies. Topics of controversy and/or public debate can include –

  • Climate change
  • GMO food
  • Water fluoridation
  • Recycled Drinking water
  • Coal seam gas exploration and extraction
  • Vaccination
  • Unpasteurised (‘raw’) milk

And the list goes on……..

For assessment we are to pick a particular controversy and write a blog about this topic. As we blog we need to examine the nature of the controversy, how it arose, who or what are the opposing sides, the role of communication in the controversy, and how the controversy might be resolved. And as a bonus we will learn the practical ins and out of blogging in science communication.

So over the coming months I will be regularly posting on my chosen controversial science topic. And my topic is –

  • Unpasteurised (‘raw’) milk

Stay tuned dear readers!

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Here are some more photos of the myriad of native and non-native animals spotted around the complex of small lakes I past each morning on my walk to work. Photos of water dragons, geese, white ibis, guinea fowl, moorhens and ducks.

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I was sitting in the car in a car park as the rain was falling down and then suddenly a juvenile pied butcherbird with chocolate brown wings and head and pale brown chest landed on the rear vision mirror and chirped at me. And an adult with black and white coloring, a parent or mature sibling, landed on the car parked next to me.

Birds are such fascinating animals. Butcherbirds especially as over the years I have been privileged to interact with them closely and understand some if their family dynamics, different calls and see the babies change into juveniles and the adults.

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Last night, on my way from work to watching my girl play beach volleyball, I stopped to watch the Space Shuttle pass over for one of the last times. My parents had called me about it and mentioned that I had watched the shuttle fly over for the first time when I was a little girl. My mum even said that I had asked “Is it going to land at the coast?” So I pulled over and parked by the local train station, commuters rushing past me, and I looked up into the darkening sky for a light in the west. Then I saw it! A bright light moving relatively slowly across the sky. It looked like a plane, but there were no flashing lights and it appeared to move differently to a plane. And so I saw it! a piece of history in the making. I can tell my children one day about it. Science nerd? Yes!

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